During a recent re-viewing of The Empire Strikes Back I was struck by the fabulous wealth of Lando Calrissian -- owner/ruler of Cloud City, an enormous mining operation on a remote gas planet. He was far wealthier and more powerful than any real person has ever been (other than in a capacity such as President or Pope wherein a person exercises the power of a larger organization that's independent of the administrator), ruling over a population of millions of employees and the enormous resources of a floating city, complete with space ships, droids, a military, and so forth. And yet, when the Empire shows up he's forced to kowtow before an even greater power, because in the Star Wars universe he was still a rather small fish.

The difference between Lando Calrissian and Bill Gates is that Lando lived in an enormously larger pond. Even though he was far richer than Bill Gates, he was far from the top of his societal wealth/power pyramid. In the Star Wars universe the galaxy had millions of populated planets, with an unknown population that must have numbered in the quadrillions. With such a large base it's not inconceivable that Lando could scoundrel [That's not a verb -- Ed.] his way up to a position of such power in a relatively short period of time



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